On Dec 12, it was announced that League of Legends World Champion Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang has become the first import to the LPL in China to earn local player status. Doinb is originally from South Korea, but he has competed for FunPlus Phoenix since 2018 and led the team to their first World Championship title.
What the local player status means for Doinb
In League of Legends, to keep the regional competitions fair, each team has a limit of two-import players from any region. However, if a player manages to obtain residency in a country, the player can be considered a local. Players that are considered locals, though they don’t originate from the region, do not count towards the import slots each team has access to.
When this has happened in the past, mainly in the European and American leagues, the value of these players went up a tremendous amount. The best example is Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, who became a resident of the US back in 2018 and is now one of the highest-paid top laners in the entire NA LCS. Many wouldn’t call Huni the best top lane player anymore, true. But compared to the local talent, Huni is considered much more proficient in the role.
Other players able to obtain residency in China for League of Legends
Obtaining residency for China has been notoriously hard for traditional athletes, and even more so for esports competitors. However, one other player is rumored to soon obtain local status. Song “Rookie” Eui-jin is the current mid laner for LPL team Invictus Gaming. Rookie is originally from South Korea as well, though he is allegedly becoming a Chinese resident in the near future. Unlike Doinb, Rookie has competed for Invictus Gaming in China since late 2014.
What this change in residency will mean for the players in the upcoming years is honestly unknown. While they will now be considered locals for the Chinese LPL, this effectively rules them out of competing in Korea anytime soon. As they would now be considered Chinese residents, the players would be considered import players for the LCK league.
For more League of Legends news, be sure to check out the newest League of Legends champion reveal, Sett.